Tag Archives: Deb Knecht

The lesson of a Dakota Pinnacle Birch: Why blogs, tags, and linking continue to rule for search engine results

I became a member of the Board of Minnesota Offroad Cyclists (MORC) back in January. At a meeting last weekend, a couple of board members who are avid mountain bikers told me that whenever they Google themselves, the search results return blog posts and photos from my blog, Mountain Bike Geezer

A few days later, I got an email from a Northfield area webmaster wondering what my secret was here on Locally Grown Northfield, as he noticed that search results for Northfield-related issues and people seemed to frequently link to blog posts and images here.

I told them that it’s partly because I use lots of relevant tag word and phrases in my blog posts, including first and last names. And I also take the time to label/tag photos.  But I also include a lot of links in my blog posts. Not only do Google and other search engines love links, but so do the people I link to — and they increases the likelihood that others will at some point link back to something here on LoGro. Search results are still largely dependent on having other sites link to you.  The more the better. And the higher the PageRank of those who link to you, the better. PageRank is partly why Google’s Larry Page is a billionaire.

Knecht's Nurseries and LandscapingI was explaining this to Deb Knecht this weekend, since Knecht’s Nurseries and Landscaping has been a longtime client and I’ve been helping them revamp their WordPress-based site to make it Responsive, something that all websites these days need to be since so much web traffic comes from a variety of mobile devices (tablets, smartphones, etc).

I’m also working with Deb to spruce up (heh) their archive of nearly 1,000 blog posts dating back to Feb. of 2004. While most of their blog posts have been assigned Categories, most need the addition of Tag words and phrases. Categories help when browsing a blog; Tags help with both browsing and searching. Here on LoGro we have a few dozen Categories but over 3,000 Tag words and phrases.

wordpress permalinksWhile reading up about search engine optimization (SEO) strategies recently, I learned that permalinks (the URL of a blog post) are more search engine friendly if they use words from the title of the blog post rather than a number with a generic term like ‘post’ or ‘article.’

So I’ve been converting a few of my own blogs over to this permalink naming convention.  A blog post I authored yesterday is titled Mountain biking’s sweet spot for seniors: high impact for bone density, low impact for joints and if you hover your cursor over that link, you’ll see the permalink is a long URL: http://mountainbikegeezer.com/mountain-bikings-sweet-spot-for-seniors-high-impact-bone-density-low-impact-joints/. Previously, the URL might have been http://mountainbikegeezer.com/?p=4821 or other variation using ‘blog’ or ‘archives’ or ‘post’ with a number like I’ve been using here on LoGro for years.

Dakota Pinnacle Birch

At Knecht’s, we’ve been using permalinks with the naming convention /weblog/post/# which is an indication of how old their blog is. Back in 2004, ‘weblog’ was a commonly used term.  Not any more. So when I was revamping their site a month or so ago, I changed the permalink names to search engine friendly names, assuming the WordPress database would automatically redirect anyone who tried to link to a old permalink URL to the updated one. Doing this on my mountain bike blog worked, so full steam ahead! Wrong. It only works for the default permalink, not others.  I should have used a special plugin. Ouch.  The bounce rate has skyrocketed and search engine results for popular trees and plants have plummeted.

But rather than going back to the old permalink style, we’re sticking with the change, and updating the blog posts with tags.  So for example, back in October of 2010, Leif Knecht blogged about a popular shade tree called a Dakota Pinnacle Birch.  There’ve been other posts about the tree, too, so we’ve tagged them all, which means all the posts can be retrieved with the URL http://knechts.net/tag/dakota-pinnacle-birch/ and from there, you can click on the blog post headlines or titles of each for more.

My upcoming task for LoGro will be to convert all 4,000+ blog posts to a new permalink structure. Gulp. In the meantime, however, Google will have to live with http://locallygrownnorthfield.org/post/29632.

South Hwy 3 is much less ugly

new trees along South Highway 3 new trees along South Highway 3 new trees along South Highway 3 new trees along South Highway 3
I noticed yesterday that dozens of new trees had been planted along South Highway 3, from the rodeo grounds to Jefferson Parkway. I then noticed that the Nfld News had an article about it, Tree planting along Hwy. 3 in Northfield nearly finished and so I headed over to the blog at Knecht’s Nurseries and Landscaping where Deb Knecht has the story, The Greening of Northfield:

Last year, the Northfield Garden Club’s President – Mrs. EdDee Imm, helped the City secure a MnDOT grant for $10,000 to be used to  beautify the City.  It was determined that one of the areas that needed “help” the most was along the Hwy 3 corridor from the Cannon River to Jefferson Parkway.

EdDee approached us regarding the trees.  The City of Northfield and the Northfield Garden Club, in a cooperative effort,  purchased the 64 trees from us and we donated all of the labor and other materials used to plant the trees.  Each year we give back to the City of Northfield with  donations and this year, it is the Hwy 3 beautification project.  This donation amounted to $4,000 in labor, equipment costs and materials.

The Garden Club also has received funds to be used to cover the costs of watering these trees for two years which is a commitment under the grant.  We will be working with the Garden Club on keeping these trees well watered for the next two years!

Our crew – Jim Westlund, Todd Marnie & Ben Danielson planted these trees which consisted of Elms, Maple, Hackberry, Birch, Crabapples and Oak trees.  Once again we are very pleased to have the opportunity to give something back to the community that supports our business each and every year.

Knecht’s Nurseries and Landscaping
Hmmm. Is this a case of LoGro trademark infringement?

ADVERTISEMENT: June advertisers – AhADiscounts, Celebrate Dundas, and Knecht’s

This month, we have a new for-profit advertiser, a new non-profit advertiser, plus one returning for-profit advertiser.

Phong NguyenBack in March, I met and blogged about Phong Nguyen (pronounced ‘win’) and his new company, AhaDiscounts.

You can get the City Discount Card free ($10 value) until June 30. Just visit any of the participating retailers listed on the AhaDiscounts website. Phong says:

“Cardholders will save up to 50% at the point of purchase from local participating businesses.”

AhaDiscounts


AhaDiscount Card

Glenn Switzer and Michelle MillenackerGlenn Switzer, Michelle Millenacker and their colleagues at the Dundas Historical Society are hosting a big community festival called Celebrate Dundas the weekend of June 26 and 27. Glenn says:

”The two-day event is reminiscent of  the Dundas Sesquicentennial held in 2007.  The horses, wagons and buggies will be back!”

Celebrate Dundas


celebrate-dundas-2009

Deb and Leif KnechtDeb and Leif at Knecht’s Nurseries and Landscaping, have a Flash banner ad this month that links to their June Specials page. Deb says:

”We’re offering Bonus Bucks, Bargain Corral, and a variety of web-only specials on perennials, shrubs, trees and evergreens.”

Knecht’s Nurseries & Landscaping

knechts-sshot

Interested in advertising on Locally Grown?

ADVERTISEMENT – April advertisers: Dundas Dukes and Knecht’s Nurseries and Landscaping

We have a new non-profit advertiser this month on Locally Grown, plus one returning for-profit advertiser.

Bill NelsonBill Nelson, manager of the Dundas Dukes, has a banner ad that links to their website. Their home opener vs. the Pine Island Pioneers is this Sunday, April 26. And he’s coaching the CCVL All Star team vs. the St. Paul Saints on May 3. RfVUzY_dundas-dukes-155x155
Deb and Leif KnechtDeb and Leif Knecht, Knecht’s Nurseries and Landscaping, have a banner ad that links to their April Specials page where they’re offering Bonus Bucks, Bargain Corral, and a variety of web-only specials on shrubs, trees and evergreens. P8QSlL_Knechts-April-Specials

Interested in advertising on Locally Grown?